Bei Bei
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Bei Bei

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
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"Bei Bei & Shawn Lee "Into The Wind""

TRACK OF THE DAY: Ubiquity Records continues to find new inspiration from soulful sounds of the sixties and seventies as a launching pad for contemporary sounds.

In stores on January 26 is Into The Wind, a collaboration between funky multi-instrumentalist Shawn Lee and Chinese guzheng player Bei Bei. The two joined forces for an EP last summer, but this full length explores more moods and textures.

The title track is part of a clutch of songs that represent the break-beat aspect of the project. Clearly referencing harpist Dorothy Ashby, who made outstanding psychedelic soul records for Chicago's Chess Records in the 60s, Bei Bei's guzheng weaves in and thrusts through the earthy beat laid down by Lee. The guzheng playing is much more skillful than Ashby's attempts at creating similar fusions with the Japanese koto.

The album contains several surprises. There are tracks in which the guzheng sounds like a mandolin, and sometimes a harp. The prolific Lee (this is his tenth album for the label in about 8 years) is sometimes too generic with his retro constructions, but this song and album have such a captivating lead instrument that his soulful and jazzy mood settings succeed admirably. - Exclaim! Canada's Music Authority


"100 Unheralded Albums from 2010"

Among the thousands of under-appreciated or under-publicized albums that were released in 2010, hundreds became our favorites and were presented in ALARM and on AlarmPress.com. Of those, we pared down to 100 outstanding releases — from the progressive-industrial madness of Norway's Shining to the folk-hop rhymes of Sage Francis to the orchestral Italian oldies of Mike Patton's Mondo Cane project.

As usual, ALARM leaves no genre unexplored in our list of this year's overlooked gems.
Bei Bei & Shawn Lee: Into the Wind (Ubiquity, 1/26/10)

Bei Bei & Shawn Lee: "East"

In the hands of a marvel, the guzheng — a gorgeous Chinese zither — resonates with tactile beauty as its many strings are plucked with precision.

Bei Bei, a native of Chengdu, China, is one such musical technician. And this collaboration with Shawn Lee, a prolific producer who can man as many genres as he sees fit, is undoubtedly one of the year's finest albums. Together, the two use Into the Wind to navigate through funky down-tempo jams, Kung-Fu flavor, hip hop, soul, and driving grooves. - Alarm Magazine


"This Week's Best Albums: January 26, 2010"

Bei Bei & Shawn Lee: Into the Wind (Ubiquity)

The guzheng is a gorgeous Chinese zither whose existence dates back two thousand years. In the hands of a marvel, it resonates with tactile beauty as its many strings are plucked with precision.

Bei Bei, a native of Chengdu, China, is one such musical technician. And this collaboration with Shawn Lee, a prolific producer who can man as many genres as he sees fit, undoubtedly will be one of the year's finest albums.

Lee is no slouch, but his work really shines when he's coupled with a virtuoso. Together, the two use Into the Wind to navigate through funky down-tempo jams, Kung-Fu flavor, hip hop, soul, and driving grooves.

Bei Bei & Shawn Lee: "East" (excerpt)
- Alarm Magazine


"This Week's Best Albums: September 8, 2009"

Hailing from Chengdu, China and residing in Orange County, instrumentalist Bei Bei is a master of the gu zheng — a traditional stringed Chinese instrument that belongs in the zither family. Her virtuosic skills have led to beautiful melodies, but Bei Bei isn't content to repeat the styles of her ancestors; during her short career, she has made a point to collaborate with specialists in hip hop, jazz, classical music, and more.

A short two-song, two-remix EP, Beauty and the Beats is another such crossover for Bei Bei, who here meets electro-funk multi-instrumentalist Shawn Lee. The resultant jams are a rare breed — gorgeous, head nodding, and awfully unique. "East" is the single's A-grade B-side (and a re-imagined rendition of Billy Paul's classic) , but "Make Me Stronger" isn't far behind with guest vocals from soul singer Georgia Anne Muldrow.

Expect greatness when the two release their full album in January. - Alarm Magazine


"Artist's Music Floats "Into The Wind""

Bei Bei He has come a long way from the streets of Beijing to the streets of Pasadena. From Communism to Capitalism. From Chinese to American.
Indeed, the Hacienda Heights instructor is a strong supporter of the American dream. The 27-year-old knows all about it because she has lived it.
Now safely sheltered in Southern California, this talented musician recently released her latest album "Into the Wind."
This unusual composer plays an unusual instrument, the Gu Zheng, perhaps better known in the states as the Chinese Zither.
Bei Bei has bridged East and West to bring us the haunting melodies of this amazing instrument. The 5-foot long instrument features 21 strings most commonly, though some have 27.
Bei Bei's fingers float across these strings, plucking them in complicated patterns. These patterns become swirling sounds of color and light if a listener only has to close his eyes to see her music. ...... (rest of the article can be found on the newspaper of April 15, 2010) - Hacienda Heights Highlander


Discography

"Quiet Your Mind and Listen" LP 2006 Standby Productions

"Heart of China" with Richard Horowitz. LP 2008 Killer Tracks (Universal Music Group)

"Under the White Wind" Single 2010 Standby Productions

"Beauty and Beats" with Shawn Lee. EP 2009 Ubiquity Records

"Into the Wind" with Shawn Lee. LP 2010 Ubiquity Records

Photos

Bio

Bei Bei is an internationally acclaimed Gu Zheng (Chinese Zither) performer, collaborator and composer. She was born in Chengdu, China and now resides in Orange County, California. She started to play the Gu Zheng at the age of seven and received her professional musical training, majoring in the Gu Zheng at the Central University of Nationalities in Beijing, China and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in Hong Kong from several Gu Zheng masters such as Li-Jing Sha, Mu-Lan Hai, Chun-Jiang Teng, and Ling-Zi Xu. She is a multi-award winner of many national and international competitions such as the 1993 National Chinese Instruments Competition, the 1999 College Students Art Festival in Beijing and the 1st Dragon Cup International Gu Zheng Competition in 2001. Bei Bei has been collaborating with musicians from different genres such as Classical, Jazz, Alternative, Electronica, Hip-Hop, and dancers. Bei Bei has been featured as an instrumentalist and composer at venues including Knitting Factory Hollywood, Ford Amphitheater, Barclay Theater in Irvine, Illinois Wesleyan University, Gustavus Adolphus College, and National Arts Center (Ottawa, Canada). As a studio musician, she recorded for the hit Sci-fi Channel series “Battlestar Galactica”. As a composer, she composed and recorded for China Central TV documentary series “Dun Huang”. She released her debut album “Quiet your mind and listen” in 2006. Her collaborative album “Heart of China” with Richard Horowtiz was released by Killer Tracks in 2008. Her dance music works include “Dancing Dream” which was premiered at the Asian American Children’s Dance Festival in 2007. Bei Bei was the member of the Orchid Ensemble from 2008 to 2009 and the group toured through United States and Canada. Bei Bei’s new collaborative album “Into the Wind” with U.K. based multi-instrumentalist/producer Shawn Lee was released through Ubiquity Records in Jan 2010, receiving international recognitions. She is the leader of New Earth Ensemble, a music group that brings the East and West, the old and the new together. The feedback that she has received as she has introduced American and international audiences to the Gu Zheng and its broad and varied repertoire has been extremely positive. Her passion for her instrument and the beauty of her music have touched people across the world.